RAVENSCROFT, George (d. by 1592), of Bretton and Hawarden, Flints.
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Family and Education
J.p.q. Flints. 1564, sheriff 1578-9.2
The Ravenscrofts were an ancient Cheshire family who acquired, about 1440, a Flintshire estate through the marriage of this MP’s great-great-grandfather to the heiress of Bretton. This branch of the family continued to hold and to acquire lands in Cheshire till the mid-seventeenth century, and they consolidated their position in Flintshire by successive marriages into the chief local families: Stanley of Ewloe; Mostyn of Mostyn and Talacre; Grosvenor of Eaton. A still more influential match was that of Thomas Ravenscroft’s eldest daughter (the 1563 MP’s sister) to Thomas Egerton I, whose family had property in Flintshire which formed the basis of several deals between the two houses.3
Ravenscroft himself made good use of these connexions. The Stanley connexion enabled him to enter the service of the influential earls of Derby, lords of Hopedale, Mold and Hawarden, and he took up several leases in these lordships from his patron, as well as acquiring lands elsewhere in the shire. He married his eldest son into the family of Brereton of Halghton, a branch of the Cheshire Breretons, his eldest daughter into that of Davies of Gwysaney (Mold), and a younger daughter into that of Salusbury of Bachegraig, an offshoot of the powerful Salusburys of Lleweni in Denbighshire. In 1583 he was joint mediator with a Brereton in a dispute between his Gwysaney son-in-law and Davies’s neighbours the Wynnes of Tower over the ever-provocative question of pews and burial-places in Mold church. His name does not occur in the records again until, some 16 years later, he and Thomas Hanmer drew the attention of the Privy Council to the neglect of the ruling made some years earlier that Flintshire should be assessed for subsidies at half the rate of Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire, and secured a repetition of the order.4
Ravenscroft made his will when ‘visited with sickness of body’ in August 1591, hoping to be saved ‘through the blessed passion of Jesus Christ’ and to be ‘of that most happy number which shall be saved’. His ‘good will’ to the Earl of Derby was expressed in the bequest of his best grey gelding. Other bequests went to his seven named sons, to members of the Puleston and Egerton families, and to his servants. Appointed joint executors were his ‘loving wife’ Dorothy and his ‘loving brother’ Ralph. His ‘dear brother-in-law’ Thomas Egerton and son-in-law Robert Davies were the overseers. Ravenscroft’s will was proved 20 Nov. 1592. He was buried at Hawarden.5
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Lloyd, Powys Fadog, v. 267; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 135; NLW, Deeds and Documents, iii. 11, 28-9.
- 2. CPR, 1563-6, pp. 30, 332.
- 3. Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 208; Deeds and Documents, iii. 14, 17, 22, 28-9, 30; NLW, Plymouth mss 1669-70, Plas Gwyn deeds, 182, 214.
- 4. Deeds and Documents, iii. 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 27-9, 31, 33, 42; HMC 6th Rep. 422, 423; Powys Fadog, loc. cit.; APC, xxix. 597-9.
- 5. PCC 78 Harrington; W. Ravenscroft, Some Ravenscrofts, 19.